Essaouira Mogador is a town at the Atlantic coast of Morocco

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Tetraclinis Articulata
Barbary thuja
Sandarac tree




The Thuya (Araar) is a genus of evergreen coniferous tree in the cypress family Cupressaceae, containing only one species, Tetraclinis articulata, also known as Sandarac or the Barbary thuja, endemic to the western Mediterranean region. It's native to northwestern Africa.


Old Thuja tree

The Thuja is indigenous in the Essaouira region. The exploitation
is regulated because of its scarcity.



La coopérative artisanale de thuya
in Essaouira founded 1948

This resinous species is widespread because it can colonise any substrata. It is also necessary to note that Thuja ecosystems are quickly restored after disturbances because of the species high resilience (Benabid, 2000).
The Thuja forests form big mosaics of mono specific formation. This species is essentially confined to the south western Mediterranean region. It is in this region that the species constitutes the most extended populations and the most varied. It is a species that undergoes natural regeneration if the ecological conditions are favourable and
if well managed as a coppice forest. This type of forests is generally managed as coppice. The plant has an important social and economic value. Its wood is much appreciated for local crafts.

The hard wood of the aromatic species of Thuja is used by the artisanal and local handicraft industry. For this reason the species faces high anthropic pressure. In the study areas where the climate becomes more arid with increasing distance to the continent, the Thuja is replaced by Juniper (Juniperus phoenicea). As a consequence of the efforts that have been undertaken for the stabilisation of the dunes,regular plantations of Eucalyptus gomphocephala and Acacia species are widespread in the coastal zone.


Spitfire_1996_Thujaroot_Kalserud , Essaouira
Sculptures in thuya root
with French polish.
Jan Kalserud,
Essaouira 1996

Cooperative artisanale des marqueteurs du bois de thuya



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Thuja occidentalis